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Tabling of the ICD’s Annual Report 2009/10 and Statistics

Media Briefing
30 September 2010

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media.

The mandate of the ICD is to ensure that independent and proper investigations of deaths in police custody and deaths as a result of police action are carried out effectively and efficiently. The ICD may also investigate allegations of criminal offences and misconduct committed by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Municipal Police Services (MPS). Such offences include assault, rape, murder, attempted murder and many others.

This morning, the ICD tabled its Annual Report for 2009/10 in Parliament. The following are some of the highlights of that report:

Substantial improvements were made in the financial management of the department and as a result the department received an unqualified report from the Auditor-General after five years of qualified audit reports.

In terms of statistics, a total of 6 375 cases were received during the financial year – this figure represents a 4% increase when compared to the corresponding reporting period in 2008/09.

Of the 6 375 cases received, 294 were deaths in police custody whereas 566 were deaths as a result of police action – of these, Metro police accounted for 10 deaths. There was an overall 6% decrease in deaths in police custody and deaths as a result of police action. 31% of the deaths occurred in KwaZulu-Natal and 22% took place in Gauteng. The Eastern Cape had 10% of the deaths. All the other provinces handled less than 10% each.

With regards to deaths as a result of police action, 46% occurred during the course of arrest, 22% occurred during the commission of a crime and 10% of such deaths occurred during the course of investigation. The details in regard to the other circumstances are in the Annual Report.

The ICD also dealt with 2 462 allegations of criminal offences against members of the SAPS. 20% of the criminal offences took place in the Western Cape, while 14% were in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 7% of the criminal offences investigated by the ICD. 37% of all criminal offences reported to the ICD were assault GBH. Assualt common accounted for 17% of the criminal offences, while 13% were cases of attempted murder.

It is important to note that not all complaints lodged against police officers can be substantiated. This is due to a number of reasons. In some instances, upon investigation it is found that police officers have acted within the boundaries of the law. In other instances there is just no evidence to prove allegations made against police officers.

Those cases that can be substantiated are referred to the DPP for a decision on prosecution. Similar recommendations are also made to the SAPS management in respect of misconduct cases.

The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa welcomed today’s release of the report and emphasized that the ministry’s recent tabling of the ICD Bill in Parliament, will ensure that the ICD is capacitated and strengthened to ensure that police powers are not abused in future. “While the task ahead remains daunting, we are gratified to note that in 2009/10 the number of deaths in police custody and deaths as a result of police action have decreased by 6% compared to the same period in 2008/09.”

While the decrease is related to the decrease in crimes such as cash in transit roberries, further efforts are made to reduce unnecessary deaths. “A point we need to emphasize in this regard, is that this decrease proves wrong speculative assertions that our intentions to amend section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, have resulted in increased police brutality and killings of innocent civilians,” added Minister Mthethwa.

In 48 cases, members of the SAPS were convicted for various criminal offences; 25 were convicted in relation to deaths in police custody and deaths as a result of police action, and 23 convictions were related to other criminal offences. “The members who were convicted for serious criminal offences have been dismissed from the police service. This is in line with our commitment to ensuring that our law enforcement agencies uphold the laws and Constitution of our country,” stated the Minister.

He added that the slight increase in reporting of criminal offences and misconduct is a reflection of the increased accessibility of the ICD in areas where satellite offices have been established. “This has given rural communities a facility to report police offences and misdemeanors to a body that can investigate independently and without fear or favour.”

The ICD made 526 recommendations for decisions to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in criminal matters, and a total of 1 666 recommendations were made by the ICD to SAPS management with regard to various misconduct offences. “As a ministry, we will be closely monitoring the outcome of such recommendations. We remain confident that the new legislation will give this institution teeth to enforce its recommendations. The days of the SAPS ignoring the ICD’s recommendations will no longer be with us,” highlighted the Minister.

Minister Mthethwa said the fact that the ICD has received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General is an indication of the improved management of the ICD. “As the police leadership, we will continue to make drastic efforts to further improve oversight over the police.”

For enquiries contact:
Moses Dlamini
National Spokesperson
082 809 1927 or 

Issued by the Independent Complaints Directorate



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